Need a real estate lawyer who will charge us when we win the case

Asked by Clueless Chic, 93063 Sat May 2, 2009

I have contact a few lawyers about my issue with the short sale. Right now I could lose about $2500. Most lawyers want a retainer fee of $5000, one says $600 just to look at my documents. I have never hired an attorney but have seen ads on TV that says we get paid when you win. Can some one refer me to one such lawyer. I am confident we have not done anything wrong but were completely mis-led by this agent. I have a lot emails and all documents to support everything I am saying.

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Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Sat May 2, 2009
Hi Simi, and thanks again for your email.

Due to the possible amount of the judgment involved in contract negotiatons, such as this, a qualified real estate attorney will seldom agree to take a case of this size on a "contingent" basis--meaning they are paid only if they win. Even when I engage attorneys in multi-million dollar construction defect cases, I cannot get the good ones (and, in such cases, you really only want the good ones) to take the case on contingency--they always want to be paid by the hour. If you can find an attorney who will agree to be paid only it they prevail, they'll take almost 50 percent of the recovered funds, so it doesn't make sense to you to get someone on this basis or, in the alternative, for an attorney to agree to a contingent case when the payment (even at 50 percent) would not cover their fees.

Again, my suggestion is to start with the agent's broker and to complain to him about his employee's behavior. If this does not work, then speak with an attorney. You may find that the broker is cooperative and that an attorney may not be required.

Good luck!

Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Sun May 3, 2009
Without further information it is difficult to comment on your post. What were you misled about? That you were a short sale candidate?
0 votes
Barry Shapiro, Agent, Camarillo, CA
Sat May 2, 2009
Hello again,

If you have already tried to resolve this issue with the agent(s) and the Broker via phone, I would recommend that you contact the agent's Broker and let them know that you would like to get all your associated money back. Write a letter to the Broker of record, clearing stating your position and what has occurred. Include your (reasonable) requests for compensation. Send the letter via Certified Mail to the Broker and CC a copy to the DRE in Sacramento. I can just about assure you that you will be reimbursed for the true out-of-pocket expenses incurred, once the Broker is put on notice. To file a consumer complaint with the DRE, see the attached link.
0 votes
Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Sat May 2, 2009
Without knowing specifically what your complaint is, I've no idea if any part of your transaction was mishandled but if you believe it was, start with contacting the agent's broker. Make an appointment to meet and go over every thing that happened. If you are still not satisfied after speaking with the broker, your next step would be the State Board of Realtors. If the Board determines that there was negligence, fraud, or other misconduct, then you would be able to file a civil suit in small claims court. The attorney fees you are quoting sound customary. Grace is right that the attorneys on TV are not asking for small claims such as yours; they could not justify their time and expenses on such a small amount.
0 votes
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